China's Xinjiang province is home to the Uyghur ethnic/religious minority, whose fights for self-determination have been brutally and repeatedly crushed by the Chinese state: now, people in Xinjiang are being required to install mobile spyware on their devices.
The app, which launched in April, is called Jingwang (Citizen Safety). It checks all the files on the device to see if their MD5 hashes match a blacklist of dissident ("terrorist") material; it also gathers the user's wifi logins, unique device IDs (IMSI, IMEI), and the user's Weibo and Wechat databases and transmits them to the Chinese state.
Police in Xinjiang conduct stop-and-frisk searches to verify that people have the spyware installed.
At the start of July, Xinjiang officials started sending WeChat messages in Uyghur and Chinese to locals, asking them to install the app or face detainment of up to 10 days.
Police have also stopped people on the street to check if they installed the app. Several were detained for refusing to install it. Locals are now sharing the locations of checkpoints online, so others can avoid getting arrested.
China Forces Muslim Minority to Install Spyware on Their Phones
[Catalin Cimpanu/Bleeping Computer]
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